BMA's submission to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body
The BMA called for fair pay rises for all in its 2013 submission to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB), published in October 2012.
The BMA disagreed with the way the government has been instructing the Review Body to freeze or cap pay over the last few years.
NHS Employers had asked for a complete freeze, claiming increases are neither ‘necessary or affordable’.
The Government wants any pay rise for doctors limited to one per cent for 2013-2014 and also wrote to the DDRB over the summer to say there was no need for it to make any recommendations in relation to GPs.
The BMA’s DDRB evidence called on doctors to be treated equally.
While we understand the current tough economic climate, we are extremely concerned by the erosion in the real value of contracts for doctors due to relatively high levels of inflation but low, or near to zero pay awards and changes to the NHS pensions over the last few years. There is a widening pay gap between doctors and other professions.
We believe GPs should expect to be treated fairly and in line with other doctors in the NHS. We maintained they should receive the same increase as the rest of the profession in their take home net pay.
Doctors saw their contributions increase in 2012 and will face further increases for the next two years. We asked the DDRB to take this into account in its recommendations.
‘The BMA regarded therefore the government’s proposal for a one per cent uplift as a minimum on this occasion and asks that any uplift be applied equally to the net incomes of all doctors.’
Impact on morale
A BMA survey, undertaken to inform the DDRB submission, found changes to the NHS pension scheme and NHS restructuring have had a negative or very negative impact on morale (81 per cent and 76 per cent of respondents, respectively).
But doctors in England helped deliver substantial efficiency savings of £5.8bn in 2011-2012. We believe doctors should be recognised for their part in delivering improved clinical quality and outcomes and service innovation, without unsustainable short-term cost-cutting. This reinforces our belief that the government’s proposals on net pay should be regarded as a minimum.